A fever is also known as a febrile response or pyrexia. It occurs when the temperature is higher than normal due to the increase in the set point of body temperature. When this occurs, the affected individual starts to feel cold and the body compensates by increasing muscle contractions to generate heat. The body will also increase efforts to conserve heat.
A fever can be caused by various issues that range from nonserious to life-threatening conditions. Treatment to reduce a fever is generally not necessary. However, it can provide some relief for the patient to help them rest better. A fever is a very common sign. It is estimated to be one of the symptoms in 30% of children and 75% of adults who sought medical care. Medications that can be used include acetaminophen (paracetamol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium.
Low-grade fever occurs when the body temperature is continuously or intermittently elevated between 37.5C (99.5F) to 38.3C (100.9F). It is a symptom seen in various infectious, neoplastic (cancer), and autoimmune disorders. In some cases, there is no particular disorder as seen in habitual hyperthermia, which is considered to be a variant of normal temperature. If there are no symptoms besides the low-grade fever, treatment may not be required. Methods such as drinking more fluids and resting may be adequate. If necessary, medications such as acetaminophen (paracetamol) and NSAIDs can help lower the fever. Parents should remember to check with their doctor before giving medications to their children. Aspirin should not be given to children while ibuprofen is not recommended for those under the age of 6 months.